DOHA: Several Pakhtun community members in Qatar feel that the ATV Khyber,
the first Pashto language satellite channel headquartered in Islamabad, has
posed a grave threat to their rich culture and tradition.
| A group of Pakhtuns watching Khyber
channel in their Dera (residence) in Doha Jadeed
Most of the respondents felt that the programmes aired on this one-year old
channel were too western in context and approach and failed in presenting the
true image of Pakhtuns and their traditions.
Khyber TV is bent upon eroding our moral values and want to promote a
culture which is alien to us, said Umat Hassan Bangash, who works as a project
manager with Gulf International Trading and Contracting Company.
He noted that channels male presenters wear trousers and T Shirts while
female presenters do not cover their head with dopatta, a traditional veil used
by majority of the Pakhtun females. This is being done purposely to mislead our
younger generation, said Bangash, adding that eighty percent of Pakhtuns are
illiterate but presenters frequently use English language.
Feroz Afridi, president of Pak Pashto Adabi Tolna, said the launch of Khyber
satellite television is part of a well planned strategy to destroy the culture
of Pakhtuns who always felt pride in their language, traditions and identity.
To achieve this end, no senior or seasoned artistes have been invited to
work for the channel, remarked Afridi, whose songs have recently been selected
by Pakistans top Pashto Singer Rahim Shah for his new album, Yarana.
here for more info about this album]
Almost all the programmes shown in the channel are against our culture and
traditions and themes of talk shows revolve around such topics which are
considered taboo in our society, said Noor Hassan Bangash, a resident of Doha
for the past five years and former president of Khidmat Committee, District
Saifoor Khan, who is in the construction business, noted that the channel was
only promoting young artistes while ignoring the talent of senior singers and
There are some elements in our country who want to misguide and mislead hard
line Pakhtuns and make them astray so that they forget their bright past, said
Anwar Afridi, a local singer.
He however, was all praise for the news and current affairs programmes of the